I've always been one to say that if you locked me in solitary confinement, I would survive just fine.
Don't get me wrong, I love to be around people, especially those who are most important to me. But -- at the end of the day I am an introvert, and can contently deal with time on my own; especially when I compare myself to my extroverted friends, who would explode if they were alone for 15 minutes!
In my recent 140-mile walk across CT that I just finished, the one main difference between this walk and the future Walk4Water walks that will be occurring was that for the majority of this walk, I was by myself.
Most nights I ended up spending in other's homes, which is always a great experience. I admire people who let me into their houses at the end of a long day when I look disgusting and am sweaty from walking all day. You get bonus points if you give me a hug when I walk in the door. That's real love, ya'll.
Now, my first day, I spent the night at my friend Stephanie's house, and among other questions, one she asked me was, "What do you think about all day?" Which I think could be interesting for you guys to know the answer to as well... cause really, what SHOULD you be thinking about for 10 hours a day? That's a lot of brain power. (Well, maybe more for some than others.)
Some of the thoughts that go through my head are just reflections on the current happenings.
Wow, I'm already sweating. Ick.
That's some gross roadkill"... (one minute later)... "Wait, no, that tops it!" (requires the covering of the nose, and swatting of flies)
.. I wonder if you could drink your sweat?
So glad Dad gave me bug spray..." (one minute later, the mosquitoes decide to get worse) "I just sprayed bug spray! Get outta here! Die, die die!
Brainstorming is great during 20-mile walks, but the downside is that you actually have to remember what you brainstormed (unless you're a good multi-tasker writer/walker) and that you probably can't just implement all your ideas right away. I would say someone should invent a touch-screen device that floats in front of you as you walk, but that would distract from everything else you should be noticing in that moment, like cool buildings, interesting people, cracks in the sidewalk that might make you TRIP!
Speaking of, I'm naturally a klutz, so actually making it through this week without having any major trips, falls, accidents, is kind of a big deal.
And then sometimes I'll let my thoughts get deeper, and I reflect on my life, what I'm doing, the other people in my life; those who have been significant, those who I might have just met... it is so interesting to meet people as you are traveling. Wait a few days and I'll tell you all about those I encountered along the way.
I believe in God, so I'll talk to him sometimes, which sometimes means that I'm angry at him or circumstances in life, which I blame on him (that's probably not fair but that's honest), I try to take time to be thankful to him for all that he's given me, and what he is doing around me, in other people, in the world as a whole.
I find that it is easier to have much more hope for the future of the world, if you can recognize the current great things in life that already exist, and great things that have happened in the past. I pray for the future, for my life, for others, with expectant hope.
And with this type of training, my mind is constantly keeping track of my food and water intake, trying to stay in-tune with what my body is telling me it needs, and figuring out the next moves I need to make to replenish supplies, take a break, etc.
The conclusion of all this being... is that my mind wanders a lot. I have ended up making some really well-thought out decisions while walking. I've processed a lot of information, and thought through some critical next steps for me, for Walk4Water. I've struggled with the monotony of continuing to walk, but have recognized the effect and influence you can have by being willing to do what others wouldn't; when you choose to do something different in order to make an impact, to make a lasting difference. When you have HOPE and act on it.
Do you have hope for the future -- for yourself, others, the world? How does it change the way you live? There's something to think about next time you have 10 hours to kill.
Follow Amy Russell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/amy4water